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Unfinished Series | 2016

Nearly everything is a series these days. There are the few standalones that, well, stand alone on the shelves, but most books are grouped into two or more books. And I love series. I love getting more time with characters and more books and more depth. More more more!

So, this week on my blog, I'm deeming it "series week" wherein I round up all of my unfinished series, all the series I've abandoned, and a handful of series that I want to start in the new year! One of my new year resolutions (spoiler alert) is to cut down the amount of series that I'm in the middle of or am not caught up on!

Welcome to DAY ONE: Unfinished Series
(note: this will only include series that I am not up to date on, so ongoing series where I have read all the currently published works will not be included)

Read: The Bone Season
Unread: The Mime Order  

I absolutely adored the first book in this series when I read it. So much so that I preordered the second book when it released in early 2015. I've read the first bit of this twice now, but the last time that I tried was--I believe--in mid-to-late 2015. Safe to say, I remember next to nothing from the sequel. And the third book in this series is coming out in 2017, so I need to get to this soon!

 Read: Shadow and Bone
Unread: Siege and Storm, Ruin and Rising

Read: Six of Crows
Unread: Crooked Kingdom

I have no excuses with this one. Absolutely none. I've had the Grisha trilogy since last December (thanks, Rachel!) and I won an ARC of Six of Crows in August of 2015. Ugh. I actually hate myself a little for this one because it's one that I really want to finish, but just haven't. Those are the worst. 

Read: Castle in the Air
Unread: House of Many Ways

Howl's Moving Castle was one of the most delightful and refreshing books that I read this year. I'm hoping the rest of the series continues that trend. I know absolutely nothing about the rest of this series. I don't even know if it follows all the same characters from the first book, but I do hope so because I want more of all of them.

Read: Illuminae
Unread: Gemina

The first book in this series was on my favorites list last year, so I think I just needed to let the hype and my own personal anticipation of this book to die down a bit before I read on with this series. Maybe I'll read it closer to the release of the third? I'm not sure when in 2017 this one will be read, but I do know for certain that it will be read in the coming year!

Read: A Darker Shade of Magic
Unread: A Gathering of Shadows

It's completely possible that when this goes life, I may have already finished A Gathering of Shadows because I am listening to the audiobook as I am typing this. Either way, this series is absolutely fantastic. I love the characters and the story and the world and the writing. Just, everything. Also, if everything goes to plan, I will be attending the launch for A Conjuring of Light in February in Nashville. The book is already preordered, so let's hope so. *nervous laughter*

Read: The Magician's Nephew; The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe
Unread: The Horse and His Boy, Prince Caspian, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, The Silver Chair, The Last Battle

I don't really know how to start off with this one. I mean, it's one of those things that I'm embarrassed I haven't read? I've read the first and second books countless times in an attempt to continue on with the rest of the series, but everytime that I get to The Horse and His Boy I just completely lose interest because why would I want to read an entire book before I get back to reading about the Pevensie kids?

I've also partially read both Prince Caspian and Voyage of the Dawn Treader when I was in middle school and those second and third movies were coming out, but they were just so similar to the movie that I didn't want to bother.

However, this one is already being rectified because I've already started rereading books one and two. (I might already be on book three by the time this goes up!) I will finish this series in 2017! I will! *slams fist against books* *apologizes profusely*

Read: Girl Online
Unread: Girl Online: On Tour, Girl Online: Going Solo

Not entirely sure why I haven't completely given up on this series yet. I think it's partly that I like Zoe's videos and personality and part that I payed full price for the second book so there's no way I'm giving it away without having at least attempted to have read it. 

Is that enough of a reason to make myself suffer? Not sure, but probably not. Am I going to do it anyway? Probably so.

Read: Outlander
Unread: Dragonfly in Amber, Voyager, Drums of Autumn, The Fiery Cross, A Breath of Snow and Ashes, An Echo in the Bone, Written in My Own Heart's Blood

Will I ever actually finish this series? Realistically, no. In my deluded "I can read all the books in the universe" mind, absolutely! 

These are books that I really have to be in the right mood to read. Meaning that I can't be too critical or cynical and need to have a lot of time to devote to them. So, essentially, I may never actually pick up the second book.

Read: These Broken Stars
Unread: This Shattered World, Their Fractured Light

I wasn't expecting to like the first book in this series, but I did. I mean, listen, if you know me then you know that I think space is the most frightening thing in the universe (ha, get it?) and that I despise survival stories above all else. Those two mixed together make These Broken Stars. However, Amie and Jay (Illuminae) were coming to my town on their Gemina tour, and I didn't want my encounter with them to go like this:
Me: Hi Jay! Hi Amie!
Jay and Amie: Hi, thanks for stopping by tonight!
Me: Oh, please. *blushes* I'm a huge fan of your work. *brings out literally every book Jay has ever written* *hands Amie Illuminae and Gemina* *hides in the corner of the store*
Yeah, I wanted to read at least something else of Amie's before meeting her because, in all honesty, I would have felt suuuppeeer guilty. So I read it and really enjoyed it? Now I want to read the rest of this series.

Have I been converted? Stay tuned...

Read: The Cuckoo's Calling
Unread: The Silkworm, Career of Evil

I mean, it's J.K. Rowling. Does this really need excessive explanation? If it does, then here we go. I really liked the first book. I enjoy Cormoran (I genuinely called him Cameron without meaning to for the entirely of the first book) and Robin. I think the second one just got a bit too weird for me? I normally thrive in the weird and strange, but this was kind of a gross weird. Maybe distance has done me some good.

Are you in the middle of any of these series? Have you finished them? Are you excited for series week? (Hint: the answer is yes!) Tell me down in the comments!

Anticipated Releases of 2017 | January to June

There are so many amazing and beautiful books releasing in 2017. Of course, there are more than these that I am excited about, and these dates will probably change because publishing does that a lot.

This year? No. A year ago? I read Josh's memoir, We Should Hang Out Sometime, and I not only found a 4.5 star book but also a YouTuber that I always love to watch. When I heard that he was writing a fiction book, I was all there because Josh is one of those unique humans whose's humor I actually really love and always laugh at. This story is about a blind 16-year-old, Will, who starts at a new high school. I'm excited to see what I think of it.

THIS. IS. A. PHANTOM. OF. THE. OPERA. STORY. That's all I needed to know about this book before adding it to my TBR. I actually have an ARC of this book (*flails about like a madwoman*) and am planning on reading it ASAP. 

So, this is actually more of a "modern spin-off" of Leroux's story, which is one of my all-time favorite books, and not a retelling. Eh. Details. Either way, I'm beyond thrilled to read this book. Hopefully, I will like it; otherwise, I will cry for 64 years.

Another book that I needed zero explanation for before adding to my TBR: it's a feminist scrapbook. It's filled with essays, poems, comics, illustrations, etc. from across media. I really don't need to know more, and neither should you. (But there's still a goodreads link...for reasons.)

So, for those of you that have read The Night Circus, I've heard this is like that.

For those of you who have been meaning to read The Night Circus for 87 years (see also: me), you can read this book come the end of January to prepare yourself for the more adult magic that is The Night Circus. 

I kid. I've head great reviews of this already and can't wait to get my greedy little hands on it.

I've never read Neil Gaiman, but I've heard that he's magic.

I've never read anything about Norse mythology save a few Thor comics, but those don't really count. 

I'm super interested by this, and I'm totally going to read it.

This is an LGBTQIA+ contemporary YA book. I honestly don't know much more than that. I know it's about a girl who goes to college in New York, which I'm stupidly excited about because not enough YA books take place in the college years. Marin, our main character, pretty much left everything behind in California when she left for college, and it's not really until her old friend Mabel comes to visit over winter break that she has to face what she's left behind.

I think?

This is the third and final book in Schwab's Shades of Magic series. I have already pre-ordered this this, and the second book is the next book on my TBR. This series is magic + amazing characters + parallel Londons + pirates. Yes yes yes.

Another third (but not the final) book in a series. Another series that takes place in London, but this is like a science fiction, alternate, future London that is ruled by an organization called Scion. It has people with powers, and hopefully I can get my hands on this gorgeous edition of the book. 

I haven't read anything Mindy McGinnis, but I've heard geniunely amazing things about her and her writing. But this is about a girl who was born to be fed to the water. I don't really know much about this, and I don't want to. It sounds intriguing enough.

I absolutely love, love, love Becky's last book, Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, when I read it earlier this year in anticipation of her attending SEYA fest in March. This is another LGBTQIA+ story, and I'm totally down for it. It follows our main character, Molly, who is essentially a perpetual Paris; her "love" is always unrequited. I don't like to know too much going in to contemporaries, so that premise is enough to hook me. 

I don't know why this series is going onwards. I also only have a vague semblance of an idea as to why I'm continuing on with this final installment, and that was my significant dissatisfaction with the ending (and who Lara Jean ended up with) of P.S. I Still Love You. Even though I know the guy that I preferred probably won't turn up in this book, and Lara Jean will still be in a relationship with a guy that I absolutely despise. Here's to character development?

I actually hate myself that this is one of my most anticipated reads of 2017. I actually hate myself a little bit for it. I really disliked A Court of Mist and Fury, in case you're new to this blog or to me. I really dislike Sarah's writing. It's my least favorite writing that I've ever read in the entire world. I just can't stand it. Nonetheless, I want to know what happens. Ugh.

A lot of people's early years of reading were shaped by Sarah Dessen; mine was not. I've never read Sarah Dessen, but this one--for some reason--really speaks out to me. Maybe it's the cover. Maybe it's the fact that it's about the daughter of a wedding planner. Whichever one it is, this is going to be a really fun and light summer read, which is something I'm sure I'll need after next semester.

What books are you looking forward to this year? Which of these are you most excited for? Tell me down in the comments!


Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda | Review

WOW. Wow wow wow wow wow wow.

Note: this is the first book in absolute ages (possibly ever) that I have finished in under 24 hours. I listened to a lot of it on audio while doing menial tasks throughout the day and then stayed up until 5 AM reading this because I am so in love with Simon and Blue.

A second note: This post has been sitting in my drafts for actual months. I still love it as much as the moment I finished it.

I knew people loved this book, so naturally, I went in skeptical because 9 times out of 10 I am that one person that didn't like TFIOS, Eleanor & Park, Will Herondale, etc. So I went in skeptical and was instantly shocked with how much I adored Simon and his Bachelor(ette) watching family, even if they do watch it at the wrong time of the year (but that's really not something normal people would notice). I had my guesses to Blue's identity. However, just over halfway through, I was starting to get worried because there is no way that people liked Guy A (name redacted because of spoilers) as Blue. No fucking way. Half of me was worried this was going to be a 9 out of 10 situations and then kept to my trust in my book friends and a blind trust that Becky Albertalli wasn't cliche as fuck.

And she wasn't.

And I was happy.

Honestly, I can't think of a single thing that I didn't enjoy about this book. It creates suspense. It plays with tropes. I was rooting for Simon. I hated Martin. The friendships were refreshingly honest for YA; they weren't all happy all the time but had obstacles to overcome. The romance is fucking adorable. Albertalli in not so many words says to teens that "Masturbation to Drarry fanfic is completely normal" which I've never seen in YA and gets a major thumbs up from me. She also nails the southern USA, said from a Tennessean. It was compulsively readable and addicting. I adored the emails between Blue and Simon. It gets straight to the point and doesn't spend three chapter idling around. Simon's unique voice is distinct and lovable.

5 well-deserved stars to you, Becky Albertalli. 5 stars to you and Simon and Blue.



Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo | Review + *flailing*

asdfghjklpoiuytrewqzxcvbnm (translation: this book is going directly onto my favorites shelf)

Even almost a week after finishing this book, I still have trouble talking about it cohesively. This is hands down one of the best books in YA fiction and definitely one of my favorite books of the year thus far. The only thing that I didn't enjoy about this book while reading it was that at a certain point in the novel, the flashbacks were happening every chapter from every character's POV. However, those flashbacks all served the purpose of successful character building and then the next chapter after I had that thought, the flashbacks were pretty much done and the action really started. So, honestly, I don't really have that much of a problem with it.

A few of my favorite things I loved about this book:

- Nina's sass and unapologetic dedication and belief in herself. I definitely see why everyone loves Inej (she will appear later on this list) but while I was reading this book, I could feel myself latching on to Nina's character and her story and her history. I felt myself relating so much to her, and I love that there's more than one female main character to read about.

- Matthias's narrative was the reason Matthias was my favorite character to read from. I think this is why Six of Crows doesn't come across as super info-dumpy. He also had by far the most unique voice out of all of the characters and I absolutely adored reading through his eyes. Fantastic job.

- I've never actually read a heist story before, but from what I've heard (and from what Leigh has said) it follows the basic structure of a heist story. We see our characters struggle and we see how they react under that insane pressure. Whether they grow or break or become more vulnerable or create new walls. 

- I actually enjoyed all the relationships in this book, which if you know me and my tastes, will probably come across as a surprise. I am incredibly picky when it comes to reading about a romance between characters because most of the time it's just incredibly ridiculous in YA books. However, the fantastic thing about the majority of the relationships in this book are either preexisting or have been simmering for a good while. We do get the excitement of a new relationship and a bit of flirting between those characters. They're all so cute!

- We have a diverse cast of characters! Our main character, Kaz, walks with a cane. Throughout the story, we find out why he has a limp, but the stand-out part about Kaz to me is that Leigh Bardugo writes in her acknowledgments:
"I have a degenerative condition called osteonecrosis. This basically translates to 'bone death,' which sounds kind of gothy and romantic, but actually means that every step I take is painful and that I sometimes need to walk with a cane. [. . .] I often felt that Kaz and I were limping along this road together." 
Alongside Kaz, we have characters of color, and we also have diversity of body type and sexuality. - The use of humor in this book is done incredibly well and Jesper is my baby. I love him dearly. No one touch him.

- The discussion topics this book brings up are fantastic, especially the ones surrounding Kaz's character. I would label him probably as a chaotic good character, and then we have Nina who is probably more a lawful/neutral good character. And we have a discussion amongst the characters, notably Nina and Inej, about whether what he does and how he does it is right or not.

- Inej. Her past and her determination and her true level of skill. Her belief in herself and how much she grows throughout this novel. She's brilliant. I could go on for hours. My book is underlined and written in and made me cry, oh did it make me cry.


By far my favorite from the entire book:
“Many boys will bring you flowers. But someday you'll meet a boy who will learn your favorite flower, your favorite song, your favorite sweet. And even if he is too poor to give you any of them, it won't matter because he will have taken the time to know you as no one else does. Only that boy earns your heart.” 
A classic:
No mourners. No funerals. Among them, it passed for 'good luck.'
This is why Matthias is my favorite (with Jesper as a close second):
Jesper knocking his head against the hull and cast his eyes heavenward.
"Fine. But if Pekka Rollins kills us all, I'm going to get Wylan's ghost to teach my ghost how to play the flute just so that I can annoy the hell out of your ghost."
Brekker's lips quirked. "I'll just hire Matthias' ghost to kick your ghost's ass."
"My ghost won't associate with your ghost," Matthias said primly, and then wondered if the sea air was rotting his brain. 
A conversation between my favorite couple:
“It's not natural for women to fight."
"It's not natural for someone to be as stupid as he is tall, and yet there you stand.” 
Classic Kaz:
“When everyone knows you’re a monster, you needn’t waste time doing every monstrous thing.”
Have you read this yet? I just got Crooked Kingdom on Friday and haven't had time to read it yet, so don't say anything about it! If you've read SOC, tell me your thoughts down in the comments!


Recently in Reading | September 2016

"Recently in Reading" is a new feature on my blog that I created myself, although I did adapt it from the Goodreads Tag and made it into a feature that I could do semi-regularly on my blog!

This was the last book that I read, and oh heavens, it was fantastic. I absolutely adore Nina and Matthias with all my heart. Definitely two of my most beloved characters that I've read this year. Also, this is home to two of the best and most well-developed characters that I read this year: Kaz and Inej. I haven't picked up Crooked Kingdom yet, but FRIDAY.

I picked up Jay's newest release a couple of weeks ago, and I really love it. I'm only a few chapters in, but I love the writing. If you're not a fan of overly descriptive and almost flowery writing, this might not be for you. However, I am a really huge fan of beautiful writing, so I am enjoying this so far.

I have always been really interested in Norse Mythology, and I have a book of the main mythology around it somewhere in the depths of my bookshelf. So, when I saw this pop up on Goodreads when a friend of mine shelved it, I immediately went to add it to my TBR because if Gaiman can't kick me to learn about Norse Mythology, then nothing can.

This book is set to be released in February 2017.

Like I said earlier, I am picking up my copy of this beautiful book on Friday when Leigh Bardugo comes to my local(ish) indie bookstore. I'm really excited to meet her, and I am even more excited to pick this book up and flail while I read it. Or cry. Don't tell me what to expect. I don't want to know!

I won a Twitter giveaway for an ARC of Iron Cast from the author (which means I also got some pretty cool swag and she signed my book) and I'm super stoked for it. Hopefully, after I devour CK, I won't be in too bad of a mourning period and can read and review this by the time it's released.

I'm not quite sure what I will want to buy next. I am really trying to stick to my book buying ban, so since I technically pre-ordered Crooked Kingdom and have already paid for it, I don't want to put that here. Instead, right now I am thinking I might buy The Devil in the White City or On the Other Side. However, that's a while off, so let's not think about it right now!

Now, I would put Six of Crows here again just because it was that fantastic. However, I want this portion to be able to include new favorite books, fandoms, authors, quotes, series, etc. This time around it's a new favorite quote, conveniently from Six of Crows:
"Many boys will bring you flowers. But someday you'll meet a boy who will learn your favorite flower, your favorite song, your favorite sweet. And even if he is too poor to give you any of them, it won't matter because he will have taken the time to know you as no one else does. Only that boy earns your heart."
Aww. This book is just too perfect, too wonderful for this world.

What did you think of this feature? I'm thinking of doing it every few months or just whenever I feel the urge to do it. I really like it, so tell me what you think of it down in the comments!

Also, let me know what has been your most recent bookish favorite, whether it be a subscription box, a fandom candle, jewelry, a quote, or an event that you went to!